The bustling holiday season is here and the calendar is filled with all the holiday cheer you can imagine. Here are some of the event highlights to help you wrap up an amazing year in Shores & Islands Ohio:
Explore and enjoy a number of local light displays, including several free lights shows synched with holiday music. Sandusky’s Washington Park is filled with decorations and lights and the adjacent Merry-Go-Round Museum offers a nightly light show on the exterior of its building. If you enjoy a drive-through light display, the Erie County Fairgrounds in Sandusky offers Lake Erie in Lights featuring more than a million twinkling lights. The display will be open Thursday-Sunday through December 31
Ghostly Manor Thrill Center
Sandusky – There is a similar light show here, synced to a radio station so you can enjoy the entertainment of dancing lights from the cozy comfort of your car. Bring family and friends together for fun under one roof! Jump in our bounce houses, climb in the jungle gym and skate for hours with your choice of roller skates, scooter or roller blade rental! The Wizard’s Journey is a 9-hole Miniature Golf course with 3D blacklights. It takes you on an interactive quest to slay the dragon through caves, waterfalls, a forest, and much more. Next, try the XD 4D theater. This 4D motion-simulated ride takes you on a trip down snowy, pine-covered mountainside, through icy frozen tunnels, and more. Choose your favorite movie, or see them all, and see, hear, and feel the XD 4D experience! The Ghostly Manor Haunted House is one of the top rated haunts in the United States and now is better than ever! We have added more scares and new rooms while keeping our ticket prices the same! Ghosts lurk in every corner as you wander through this “old mansion.” See if you can make it all the way through as Ghostly Manor comes alive to reveal your deepest fears!
Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge is targeted for families, especially those with young children, will delight in the wintertime activities offered as part of a stay at Great Wolf Lodge during their Snowland celebration through January 8, 2024. Complete with whimsical décor, daily snowfall showers, and festive activities, families can escape the chilly winter weather and soak up the holiday spirit. Seasonally-themed crafts and story times will be offered, as well as visits with Santa.
Season of Joy at Sawmill Creek Resort – Sawmill Creek by Cedar Point Resorts is going all-out this holiday season with their festive Season of Joy which includes a number of fun activities both for the young and the young-at-heart crowd. Through December 31 catch the spirit of the holidays with live music, comedy showcases, holiday decorating workshops, specialty food and drinks and more bringing together the sights, sounds, and tastes of the North Coast.
What could be more romantic than strolling through a picturesque vineyard or cuddling up in front of a roaring fire with a glass of vino? Shores & Islands Ohio wine trail offers more than a dozen wineries, many available for tours and all with tasting rooms. Some wineries offer full dining menus to complement your sampling and live entertainment throughout the season. Consider an escorted winery tour for the ultimate experience. Northeast Ohio boasts more wineries per square mile than in any other region. The tiny parcel of land also is home to well over half of the wine grape acreage in the state. As the cool winds blowing over the icy lake slow growth of tender buds in the spring and the gentle warm breezes extend the summer season into fall, and the valleys collect cold frosty spring air, winegrowing families of the area celebrate their ability to grow some of the finest grapes anywhere in the nation. Hundreds of acres of rolling, lush vineyards, award winning wines like Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, easy to enjoy Chambourcin and Vidal Blanc as well as local favorites made from native varieties draw tens of thousands of visitors each year for touring and sampling.
Enjoy white-tablecloth dining at one of many fine restaurants in the area or sample local cuisine, such as just-caught Lake Erie perch and walleye, at a number of local pubs and fish shacks. A craft beer or spirits-tasting at a brewery or distillery is a great complement to any foodie journey. Fancy yourself a home chef? Consider a class at the Culinary Vegetable Institute, where you can learn from top chefs who work effortlessly farm-to-table. Then, visit a neighborhood farm market for fresh produce or pick-your-own ingredients at an orchard. Finalize your foodie finds at a local specialty food store where you will find international fare and then head back to the condo and pretend you’re on a reality cooking show. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of local wine to enjoy. Bon appétit!
Beacons of Light
Go on a coastal adventure exploring Lake Erie’s lighthouses. Did you know there are half a dozen in the Shores & Islands region alone? Spend a few days discovering these beacons of light and their history guiding maritime explorers. From Vermilion to Port Clinton, lighthouses are some of the area’s most popular sites. Consider visiting for sunrise or sunset because Lake Erie lighthouses also make superb photo spots. You’ll need to take a ferry to Put-in-Bay if you truly want to see all of the Shores & Islands lights, as the South Bass Island Lighthouse resides within the lake. Don’t miss a stop at the Maritime Museum of Sandusky to learn all about Lake Erie and its functions as a shipping port, fishery, and recreational haven.